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Using the shape tools

From: Photoshop CC Essential Training

Video: Using the shape tools

In this lesson we're going to take a look at some of the different Shape tools that we have in Photoshop. Now, similar to the Text tools the Shape tools are vector based. And that means they're resolution is independent, so you never to worry about resizing them after you draw them, you can transform them at any time you won't lose any quality. So to select these Shape tools ,you can either click on the Shape tool icon in the Tool bar or you can tap the U key. Now, to make sure that we're all starting in the same place, if you're on the Mac, if you'll Ctrl click on the icon here in the upper left, and then choose Reset tool.

Using the shape tools

In this lesson we're going to take a look at some of the different Shape tools that we have in Photoshop. Now, similar to the Text tools the Shape tools are vector based. And that means they're resolution is independent, so you never to worry about resizing them after you draw them, you can transform them at any time you won't lose any quality. So to select these Shape tools ,you can either click on the Shape tool icon in the Tool bar or you can tap the U key. Now, to make sure that we're all starting in the same place, if you're on the Mac, if you'll Ctrl click on the icon here in the upper left, and then choose Reset tool.

Or, if you're on Windows, just right mouse click and choose Reset tool. Now, as soon as I click and drag out a rectangle in my image area, the Properties panel appears and you'll notice that there are a lot of these same options on the Properties panel as there are in the menu across the top. So, it really doesn't matter which one you use, it's whichever one you feel more comfortable with. We'll take a look at the Properties panel first because I want to show you that Photoshop has the ability to create rounded rectangles and their dynamics. So, these are live shapes meaning that if I save this file and I come back to this file next week or next year, these shapes can still be modified. And the way that you would modify the corners is either by entering in your own pixel values here, or you could enter them in down here, or I think it's much easier just to click on one of the icons next to the corner. And you'll see that you'll get your scrubby sliders, and you can click and drag in order to change the radius of that edge. Now, they all changed in tandem and that's because they're all linked together right now.

If I wanted to unlink them, I would click on the link icon, and then I could drag one independently of the others. The interesting thing is if I do drag one independently, and then I decide to link them again, and I click and drag, you can see that if I add say, 20 pixels to this corner the other pixels also get 20 pixels added to them. So, if I wanted to just reset them all very quickly, the easiest way is to just to swipe in the area above and just type in 0 px for pixels and tap Enter or Return.

Now, that they're linked, if I drag one, again they'll all drag in tandem. So, that's how you would work with the live shape properties. Now, every time that I drag out a shape that contains these live shape properties, the Properties panel is going to flyout automatically. So, what I'm going to do is I'm going to click where it says Properties and I'm just going to dock it with my other panels. In fact, I'll nest it with the Color and Swatches panel over here on the right side. Now, I won't need my adjustments or my styles, so I'm going to double-click on the Word Adjustments, in order to just collapse that.

So that I get a little bit more space that I can see the entire Properties panel. All right. You can see that when I clicked and dragged out this initial rectangle, it actually created a Shape layer on the Layers panel. If I don't want this rectangle, I can just tap the Delete key. And it will delete that entire layer. We also do have a Rounded Rectangle tool that you can use. Again, you just click and drag out, and then we can see all the live shapes properties over here in the Properties panel. We can also see the options across the top.

Now say, for example, you didn't have the Properties panel showing and you just want to change the fill or the stroke, we can click in the Color Swatch and then change the color, maybe right here. If I want to select a color for my image, I can't position the cursor on top of my image area. Instead, I need to click on this swatch for the color picker. And now, certainly, I can position my cursor anywhere, and select a color from the image, so that when I click OK, Photoshop will fill the rectangle with that. One of the nice things that this little dialogue does is it keeps track of my recently used colors, which I really appreciate.

And of course, I don't have to fill with a solid color. I could choose to fill with a gradient or I could choose to fill with a pattern. Or I could choose not to fill with anything. We'll take a look at that in a minute. For now, I'll go ahead and fill it with this light blue, and then we'll move over and look at the stroke attributes. So, by clicking on the Stroke Swatch here, again I can choose from stroking my image with a solid color, with a gradient, or with a pattern. We'll move back to the solid color for a moment. And then, I'll show you to the right of that.

Not only can we set the width of the stroke, I can also change other attributes. So, if I wanted this to be a dash line, or a dotted line, I can select from the presets here. All of the aligament options are right below, so if I wanted to actually stroke this outside of the rectangle, I can choose to do that. Then, I can choose the different caps. So, instead of a dotted line, I want a square. I can go ahead and choose that, and I can choose more options here, so we can actually customize the dash and the gap for our dash lines here.

And then, when we do create things that we like, of course, we can save those. Once we save them, they'll appear not only in the preset list here, but they'll also appear right here. Excellent. If I want to change the width and height without actually going into free transform, I can do so by just clicking on the width and height here. So I can enter in specific numeric values if i want to. I can also link them together and use my scrubbie sliders, moving to the right would make these larger, moving the the left would make it smaller. Alright, let's select another one of the Shape tools.

I'm going to move down the the Ellipse tool, we can clip and drag out with this. Of course, if I hold down the Shift key, we can constrain it to a perfect circle, and you'll notice that it has the exact same attributes as the rectangle did. So, when you enter in the different attributes in the Options bar, you're actually changing them for the currently selected Shape layer. And you're also setting them as your defaults for the next shape that you draw. Let's go ahead and just remove the stroke for now. And I don't need the ellipse, so let's tap the Delete key to remove that layer.

But did you notice when I deleted that circle, because the Rounded Rectangle layer is selected, we're back to having a stroke here. So, if I want to set these options in my Option bar different for the next shape that I draw, I'll just click here on my Layers panel, so that the rounded rectangle Shape layer is not selected. Now, you can see that the stroke is no longer there. So, when I select the Polygon tool and I click and drag. All I'm going to get is the default fill and stroke. Every time I have drawn one of these shapes so far, I was actually clicking and dragging out my cursor.

If I want to tell Photoshop to please draw a shape at a specific size, then all I need to do is just click in my image area. And now, I can enter the width and height. So, this works for the polygon. It also works for the Ellipse, and the Rounded and Regular Rectangle tools as well. So, let's just type in maybe 400 by 400, and let's make it an octagon, so I'll tap in 8. And we can create smooth corners, we can create a star if you want to, we can indent the sides as long as I turn on the Star option right here. But I'm going to leave those off for now.

Click OK, and there is our octagon. Now, if I click and drag right now to try to move this, I'm actually going to draw another shape. So, don't forget, when you are working with the Shape tools, just tap the V key to get the Move tool. And then, you can reposition the shapes in your image. Now, I want to show you what happens when you combine two Shape layers together because here I've got the two polygon Shape layers. I'm going to change the attributes for the layer on top. This one over here. So, I'll tap the U key again to get the Shape layer.

Then, I'll just add a quick stroke. Let's say, we add a yellow stroke. Tap Enter or Return to dismiss that dialog. And now, on the Layers panel, I'm going to select both of these layers. So, I'll hold down the Cmd key on Mac or the Ctrl key on Windows to select both of these. And then I'm going to choose Merge Down. So, from the Layer menu, I will merge the shapes. Now, watch what happens. You can see that the second polygon took on the same attributes. So, it's important to know that when you're working with Shape layers and you're merging them together, that the layer on top, the attributes of that layer, will be the ones that are saved.

Because when you prop multiple shapes on the same Shape layer they all to have the same attribute. You can't have one shape with a dotted line and another one with a dash line if they're going to be on the same Shape layer. You can always make a separate Shape layer like we happen, I just wanted show you that in case you ever wanted to merge your Shape layers. If I double-click on the thumbnail for this Shape layer, you can see I get the solid color picker. And if I wanted to change the color of these, maybe to a green color or a blue color, we can do that and click OK.

Alright, so let's go ahead and delete this, I'm going to tap the Delete key. I'm also going to delete the rounded rectangle. And this time, I'm going to return back, and we're just going to take a look at the Line tool for a minute. The Line tool, when you use it, it can be confusing initially because I tend to see people try to change the stroke on the Line tool in order to change the weight of the line. But we actually have an option for the Line tool right over here. So, if I wanted a heavier weight line, like let's say 25 pixels, I would enter it in there. And then, we can draw our line.

But a lot people ask me about making call outs. They want to make like a little arrow pointing to something. So, let's tap the Delete key to delete that Shape layer. And now, I'll select the Gear icon right here. And when I choose the Gear icon, I can now tell Photoshop. If I want an arrowhead at either the start or the end or both ends of the line. Tap Return or Enter. And then, I can click and drag out my arrow. In this case, it's a double headed arrow. We could of course always modify that, but a lot of people don't find those arrowheads.

But they're right there, underneath the Gear icon. And of course, you can change the width and the length and the concavity as well. Alright, we'll tap Return or Enter in order to dismiss that dialog. And I'll tap the Delete key one more time. So, I just want to show you maybe a really quick way that I could clip a portion of this ice image within a rectangle. So, I'm going to return back to the Rectangle tool. And I'll click and drag out a rectangle over here on the right. It's a solid rectangle and that's fine for now. I will also want to add a small stroke, but we'll do that in a minute.

What I'll do is I'll click on the Ice layer in the Layers panel. And I'll use a keyboard shortcut Cmd+J to duplicate that. And you'll notice that it became a lot darker. That's because the initial layer, this Ice layer right here is said to Multiply at a lower opacity. So, when I made a copy of it I'm multiplying this copy with it, so that's why I got a lot darker. I'll go ahead and change that just to normal. And I'm going to change the opacity all the way up to 100%. But I only want this copy to appear in the rectangle, so I'll reposition it changing the stacking order on the Layers panel.

And then, I'm gong to clip it by choosing Layer > Create Clipping Mask. So now, the copy of the ice is only going to appear where the rectangle is. The nice thing about this is that it's very flexible. If I select the Rectangle layer, and I decide I want to make it larger or smaller. For example, I might wannato make the width a little smaller, I can just click and drag. And as it updates the rectangle, it also updates what area or what part of the ice is being shown.

But the ice is exactly the same on top. Plus, it's really hard to kind of see the edge of the rectangle. So, while the rectangle is still selected. I'm going to choose to add a black stroke. But I'm going to change the stroke width here. And I'm going to actually add in 0.25 and tap Enter or Return. So, that's a very thin stroke. And at 50% we're barely able to see that. Because there's actually the line that goes around the Shape layer. If I want to hide that, I can use the keyboard shortcut Cmd+H.

Now, when you're on the Mac, Cmd + H typically is a system level keyboard shortcut that people use to hide an application. So, the first time you use this in Photoshop. Photoshop is going to ask you if you want to hide Photoshop, or Hide Extras. In this case, I'm going to say Hide Extras. That way, we're hiding the path that is creating the Shape layer. And now, I can see this stroke. If it's really hard to see because this is a video that's been compressed, maybe it would be smarter for me to make that 0.5 instead. So, I'll just take off the 0.25 add 0.5.

And now, it's a little bit thicker. One last thing that I want to do is I want to add an effect. I want to add a simple drop shadow. So I'll select that. Move the layer style out of the way. Increase the size a little bit of my drop shadow, maybe increase the distance a little bit. And then, click OK. And the reason that I added this is because I want to show you that if I now change the size of the rectangle again, if we come up here to the width of the rectangle and I increase this maybe to 500 pixels wide, when I tap Enter or Return Photoshop's going to increase the size of the shape.

And, of course, it will redraw that drop shadow for me. Now, I do want to just do one more thing to the ice and that is I want to transform it. So, I'll choose Edit. And then, Transform. And I'm just going to flip it horizontally, so that the ice that's contained in here isn't an exact duplicate of the background. Excellent, so that wraps up the overview of Shape layers in Photoshop.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CC Essential Training
Photoshop CC Essential Training

180 video lessons · 69821 viewers

Julieanne Kost
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 42s
    1. What is Photoshop?
      1m 42s
  2. 4m 18s
    1. Welcome
      1m 4s
    2. Using the exercise files
      25s
    3. Installing Adobe Bridge
      1m 23s
    4. What's new
      1m 26s
  3. 40m 58s
    1. What is Adobe Bridge?
      3m 3s
    2. Getting photos from a camera
      6m 0s
    3. A tour of workspaces in Bridge
      8m 30s
    4. Customizing how thumbnails are displayed
      4m 42s
    5. Changing file names and batch renaming
      4m 39s
    6. Adding basic metadata with metadata templates
      4m 46s
    7. Creating and applying keywords to images
      7m 1s
    8. Viewing images in Full Screen Preview mode
      2m 17s
  4. 27m 23s
    1. Using Review mode to filter out rejected images
      5m 32s
    2. Saving images in collections
      3m 52s
    3. Rating and labeling images
      4m 31s
    4. Using the Filter panel to view different subsets
      3m 7s
    5. Using smart collections
      3m 39s
    6. Viewing final selects in a slideshow
      2m 50s
    7. Organizing groups of images into stacks
      3m 52s
  5. 41m 40s
    1. Comparing raw and JPEG files
      5m 5s
    2. Starting in Camera Raw instead of Photoshop
      4m 1s
    3. Touring the Camera Raw user interface
      5m 29s
    4. Previewing before and after adjustments (CC 2014.1) NEW
      6m 55s
    5. Previewing before and after adjustments
      3m 18s
    6. Toggling onscreen Shadow/Highlight clipping warnings (CC 2014.1) NEW
      4m 48s
    7. Toggling onscreen Shadow/Highlight clipping warnings
      4m 44s
    8. Choosing output settings
      3m 34s
    9. Saving a copy without going to Photoshop
      3m 46s
  6. 1h 10m
    1. Using the nondestructive Crop tool: Door and window with ramp
      3m 42s
    2. Correcting a tilted horizon line with the Straighten tool
      4m 12s
    3. Fixing color casts with the White Balance tool
      3m 52s
    4. Fixing blown-out highlights
      5m 42s
    5. Revealing hidden shadow detail
      4m 36s
    6. Reducing distracting color noise with Noise Reduction (CC 2014.1) NEW
      7m 32s
    7. Reducing distracting color noise with Noise Reduction
      5m 55s
    8. Correcting lens distortion
      5m 17s
    9. Making perspective corrections to images
      5m 51s
    10. Removing chromatic aberration
      3m 32s
    11. Sharpening details
      7m 23s
    12. Making an average photo great (CC 2014.1) NEW
      6m 57s
    13. Making an average photo great
      6m 5s
  7. 1h 52m
    1. Using the Graduated Filter tool (CC 2014.1) NEW
      6m 15s
    2. Using the Graduated Filter tool
      5m 39s
    3. Adding a radial gradient (CC 2014.1) NEW
      7m 56s
    4. Adding a radial gradient
      6m 35s
    5. Making local adjustments with the Adjustments Brush (CC 2014.1) NEW
      11m 52s
    6. Making local adjustments with the Adjustment Brush
      11m 19s
    7. Retouching blemishes with the Spot Removal tool (CC 2014.1) NEW
      6m 37s
    8. Retouching blemishes with the Spot Removal tool
      4m 35s
    9. A quick portrait retouching technique using Clarity (CC 2014.1) NEW
      7m 59s
    10. A quick portrait retouching technique using Clarity
      7m 49s
    11. Converting to black and white (CC 2014.1) NEW
      3m 24s
    12. Converting to black and white
      3m 17s
    13. Editing images directly with the Targeted Adjustment tool
      3m 56s
    14. Selective coloring effects with the Adjustment Brush
      5m 56s
    15. Easy sepia and split-tone effects
      4m 11s
    16. Adding digital film grain texture effects
      2m 27s
    17. Adding vignettes and border effects (CC 2014.1) NEW
      4m 40s
    18. Adding vignettes and border effects
      4m 24s
    19. Saving variations within a single file with the Snapshot command
      3m 27s
  8. 19m 16s
    1. Copying and pasting settings across files
      1m 52s
    2. Processing multiple files in Camera Raw
      4m 22s
    3. Saving and using a library of Camera Raw presets
      5m 47s
    4. Saving multiple files in Camera Raw
      3m 36s
    5. Using Image Processor to batch process multiple files
      3m 39s
  9. 27m 6s
    1. Opening files from Bridge
      3m 9s
    2. Customizing the interface in Photoshop
      5m 16s
    3. Managing panels
      5m 1s
    4. Switching and saving workspaces
      3m 45s
    5. Switching tools using the keyboard
      3m 21s
    6. Customizing the keyboard shortcuts
      6m 34s
  10. 22m 49s
    1. Working with tabbed documents
      2m 51s
    2. Arranging documents
      3m 37s
    3. Stopping Photoshop from tabbing documents
      2m 49s
    4. Panning, zooming, and using the Rotate View tool
      9m 51s
    5. Cycling through the different screen modes
      3m 41s
  11. 26m 19s
    1. Understanding file formats
      8m 26s
    2. Choosing the resolution you need
      5m 15s
    3. Understanding Resize vs. Resample
      9m 40s
    4. How big a print can you make with your image?
      2m 58s
  12. 59m 15s
    1. Using Undo and the History panel
      6m 40s
    2. Using crop options
      4m 20s
    3. Understanding Hide vs. Delete for the Crop tool
      3m 52s
    4. Cropping to the perfect print size
      3m 51s
    5. Making the canvas bigger with the Crop tool
      5m 2s
    6. Making the canvas bigger using the Canvas Size command
      4m 57s
    7. Straightening a crooked image
      4m 21s
    8. Removing keystoning from buildings
      2m 6s
    9. Using the Perspective Crop tool
      2m 4s
    10. Scaling, skewing, and rotating with Free Transform
      8m 29s
    11. Nondestructive transformations with Smart Objects
      3m 56s
    12. Warping images
      4m 48s
    13. Preserving important elements with Content-Aware Scale
      4m 49s
  13. 41m 55s
    1. Exploring layer basics
      13m 25s
    2. Loading, selecting, and transforming layers
      9m 28s
    3. Organizing layers into layer groups
      8m 47s
    4. Merging, rasterizing, and flattening layers
      10m 15s
  14. 1h 15m
    1. Using the Marquee and Lasso tools
      11m 41s
    2. Combining selections
      6m 40s
    3. Converting a selection into a layer mask
      7m 40s
    4. Using the Quick Selection tool and Refine Edge
      7m 12s
    5. Selecting soft-edged objects using Refine Edge
      9m 28s
    6. Touching up a layer mask with the Brush tool
      5m 42s
    7. Changing the opacity, size, and hardness of the painting tools
      9m 9s
    8. Blending images with a gradient layer mask
      4m 55s
    9. Combining multiple exposures with layer masks
      5m 5s
    10. Making selections with Color Range
      5m 17s
    11. Selecting with Focus Mask
      3m 10s
  15. 42m 5s
    1. Introducing adjustment layers
      3m 29s
    2. Starting with a preset
      2m 36s
    3. Improving tonal quality with Levels
      7m 32s
    4. Increasing midtone contrast with Curves
      5m 7s
    5. Removing a color cast with Auto Color
      2m 37s
    6. Changing the color temperature with Photo Filter
      1m 56s
    7. Shifting colors with Hue/Saturation
      5m 39s
    8. Making washed-out colors pop with Vibrance
      2m 7s
    9. Converting color to black and white
      3m 32s
    10. Creating traditional darkroom toning effects
      2m 51s
    11. Controlling which layers are affected by an adjustment layer
      3m 49s
    12. Three different ways to add an adjustment layer
      50s
  16. 24m 41s
    1. Adjusting shadows and highlights
      5m 49s
    2. Replacing color using Selective Color
      5m 39s
    3. Using fill layers to create a hand-painted look
      7m 18s
    4. Using a gradient fill layer to add a color wash
      5m 55s
  17. 46m 27s
    1. Removing blemishes with the Healing Brush and Patch tools
      10m 21s
    2. A quick technique for smoothing skin and pores
      3m 4s
    3. Making teeth bright and white
      2m 47s
    4. Brightening eyes, to make a person appear more alert
      6m 31s
    5. Taming flyaway hair
      4m 53s
    6. De-emphasizing wrinkles with the Healing Brush
      1m 53s
    7. Body sculpting with Liquify
      5m 6s
    8. Removing unwanted details with Content-Aware Fill and Patch (CC 2014.1) NEW
      5m 34s
    9. Removing unwanted details with Content-Aware Fill
      6m 18s
  18. 22m 47s
    1. Creating panoramas with Photomerge and Auto-Blend
      5m 50s
    2. Combining multiple frames of an action sequence
      6m 21s
    3. Swapping heads in a family portrait
      4m 3s
    4. Working with bracketed exposures (HDR)
      6m 33s
  19. 1h 0m
    1. Overview of filters
      3m 3s
    2. Applying filters nondestructively with Smart Filters
      5m 56s
    3. Straightening images using the Adaptive Wide Angle filter
      5m 28s
    4. Creating a soft glow with the Gaussian Blur filter
      3m 23s
    5. Creating an infrared look with Diffuse Glow
      5m 4s
    6. Adding noise with the Add Noise filter
      7m 7s
    7. Sharpening an image with Unsharp Mask and Smart Sharpen
      7m 22s
    8. Giving an image texture with the Texturizer filter
      1m 53s
    9. Using the Field, Iris, and Tilt-Shift Blurs
      6m 9s
    10. Using the Spin and Path Blurs
      7m 38s
    11. Applying the Camera Raw filter
      2m 48s
    12. Applying a filter to multiple layers
      4m 11s
  20. 24m 3s
    1. Cycling through the blending modes
      5m 24s
    2. Scanning or photographing paper to add a deckled edge
      4m 55s
    3. Adding texture with blend modes
      1m 58s
    4. Making a cast shadow more realistic with Multiply
      5m 57s
    5. Sharpening an image with High Pass and Overlay
      2m 49s
    6. Adding a realistic off-center vignette
      3m 0s
  21. 35m 37s
    1. Exploring character (point) type
      11m 58s
    2. Adding paragraph (area) type
      4m 7s
    3. Adding type on a path
      7m 3s
    4. Clipping an image inside type
      3m 41s
    5. Warping type
      2m 36s
    6. Defining character and paragraph styles
      6m 12s
  22. 24m 13s
    1. Using the shape tools
      13m 45s
    2. Custom shape layers
      6m 15s
    3. Adding a keyline to an image
      4m 13s
  23. 49m 44s
    1. Adding a drop shadow effect (CC 2014.1) NEW
      9m 58s
    2. Adding a drop shadow effect
      8m 57s
    3. Adding edges, textures, and color overlays using styles (CC 2014.1) NEW
      4m 19s
    4. Adding edges, textures, and color overlays using styles
      5m 11s
    5. Creating a transparent logo or watermark (CC 2014.1) NEW
      4m 39s
    6. Creating a transparent logo or watermark
      4m 46s
    7. Knowing how and when to scale layer effects (CC 2014.1) NEW
      6m 0s
    8. Knowing how and when to scale layer effects
      5m 54s
  24. 11m 43s
    1. Creating contact sheets
      4m 29s
    2. Creating PDF presentations
      3m 25s
    3. Saving for the web
      3m 49s
  25. 23m 9s
    1. Working with video clips
      12m 14s
    2. Adding special effects to video files
      5m 56s
    3. Adding pans and zooms to still images
      4m 59s
  26. 1m 4s
    1. Next steps
      1m 4s

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